QUESTION FROM SHERYL:
I’m Sheryl a fresh graduate and I started working last June 2011 in a start-up call center located here in Ortigas CBD. Since I started working, I noticed that I’ve been working almost 10 hours a day because my Supervisor would normally advise me to stay and work extra hours and yet I am not being paid for the extra hours that I’ve worked for. Am I entitled to overtime pay? If Yes, What can I do?
ANSWER FROM DARWIN:
Hi Sheryl! Thank you for sending me your email inquiry about Overtime Pay. There are still a lot of employees out there like you who is still “in-the-dark” with regards to what Overtime Pay (OT Pay) is all about.
It is a universal accepted fact that for a person to work well he or she has to be given ample time to rest and to rejuvenate and prepare for tomorrow’s work. That is why labor standard laws in many countries set up maximum hours of work for employees.
In the Philippines, our Labor Code fixed the maximum at eight (8) hours a day (see Article 83, Labor Code of the Philippines) for six consecutive work days (Article 91, LCP). If the employee works beyond eight hours, the employer is required to pay an additional compensation equivalent to the employee’s regular wage plus at least twenty-five percent (25%) of such regular wage. The rate is increased to thirty percent (30%) if the worker renders overtime on a holiday or rest day. (Article 87, LCP).
As the law states, all employees in all establishments and undertakings whether for profit or non-profit in the Private Sector are entitled to overtime pay for work rendered beyond eight (8) hours a day.
Now, since it was your Supervisor who advised you to render additional work hours beyond the normal 8 hours a day, this would mean it’s an official extension of working hours thus the company should be compensating you with the proper OT pay.
What you can do?
Let me answer this in general so that all our other readers would also learn what to do in cases of unpaid overtime:
- First is to check your employment contract and make sure you are eligible for overtime pay. You would need to confirm on your contract if you are categorized as an Exempt or Non-exempt employee.
An "Exempt employee” are the those who are paid a straight salary for their work, and as such is not entitled to be paid for overtime worked. An "exempt" person supervises others, is part of a management team and receives a set monthly or bi-weekly salary for their time there, hence the "exempt" status.
A "Non-exempt employee", does not manage others, and does not receive a salary. These employees are usually paid an hourly rate and are entitled to be paid overtime when they work more than 8 hours a day in a 40 or 48 hours a week contract agreement.
In your case Sheryl, most probably being in an entry-level position you would be categorized as a Non-exempt employee and thus eligible for overtime pay.
- Keep track of your unpaid overtime. In some cases, your employer's record might not be correct, so you need to keep track of the time daily. Checking your timecard /time records daily is important to make sure it has the correct information. In most companies, employees can check their DTR’s (daily time records) on-line or thru their company’s intranet systems.
- Discuss with your Supervisor first about the discrepancy you notice in the amount you were paid and the amount you think you should be paid with corresponding OT pay. Bring any of your records, documents proving rendered OT and any timecards/copy of your DTR’s. Your Supervisor can then verify the approved rendered over time. Normally, your Supervisor and/or Manager would then coordinate with the Human Resource Department and with your company’s Payroll/Finance team to correct the said discrepancies and would make the proper adjustments and pay for the unpaid overtime.
- If you feel that it has been taking your Supervisor/Manager too long to properly address your concern regarding your unpaid overtime pay, I suggest you secure an appointment with your company’s HR Manager and discuss your concern.
- As a last resort, and if you feel that your company has been neglecting your request to properly pay you for the corresponding overtime pay you can file a report against your company with the labor court thru the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). You can check their website at http://nlrc.dole.gov.ph/ for more details.
What you should remember Sheryl is that you should always be civil and act professionally whenever you have any payroll disputes/concerns and it should always be channeled to the proper authorities in your company and give them ample time to check and verify their records.
Lastly, I wish you the very best at your work! I am happy to know that you have started your career in the BPO/Call Center industry immediately after college. As you may have known, the Call Center/BPO Industry is still the “sunshine industry” here in the Philippines and there are many exciting opportunities for you so good luck!
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Mr. Darwin B. Rivers is a Human Resource professional/executive with more than 12 years of progressive leadership and management experience both in Operations and Human Capital Management in the BPO/Call Center industry with leading global multinational companies. He has also done consultancy engagements with numerous small & medium size companies in various industries. Mr. Rivers is also an active member in different HR organizations and socio-civic networks. Currently, aside from his full time work as HR Head of his current company, Darwin is the featured HR resource person in www.agentsentral.com an on-line social network for people working in the BPO/Call Center industry. He also maintains his own professional blogs focused in Human Capital Management and Wealth Management two of his core advocacies.
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